Are You Wasting A Small Fortune On SORN Fines?

Motorists face a plethora of expenses, whether it’s fuel, car insurance or servicing fees; but they’re wasting millions by failing to declare unused vehicles via a Statutory Off-Road Notification (SORN).

Wasting Millions 

Drivers needlessly forked out £12.4 million on SORN fines in 2018. The Statutory Off-Road Notification requires drivers to inform the DVLA of when a vehicle is no longer in use; and is therefore uninsured. Over 70,000 motorists also found themselves in court for keeping a vehicle incorrectly registered. The current cost of a fixed penalty notice sits at £100. Those who ended up in court faced charges of £205 on average. If a SORN isn’t filed, the law states that a car must be taxed and insured.

Many drivers are seemingly unaware that they need to file for a SORN; even if they’re not using the car in question. Over the past five years, the number of offenders has risen by a staggering 78%. This is indicative, it could be argued, of the need to further promote the regulation and the process drivers need to go through. Last year, some 169,000 drivers were held accountable for insurance-related violations, which led to a combined total of £52 million in fines according to Kwik Fit. That’d mean a 26% increase on the number of offenders in 2013. Whilst general ignorance accounts for some of them, a large number are simply flouting the need for car insurance (as many as 95,000 cases).

Regional Differences

Not all regions in the country are equal when it comes to SORN offences. In Sussex, for instance, the number of offenders rose from 2,319 in 2013 to an incredible 18,495 in 2018. Moving in the opposite direction is North Yorkshire. It had 1,337 cases in 2013 and 777 in 2018.

Driver Confusion Over SORN

Roger Griggs, communications director at Kwik Fit, summarised the SORN confusion. He said, “many drivers may assume that the offence of not meeting insurance requirements is due to making unapproved modifications or not maintaining their car properly, but in the majority of offences this is not the case”. He added, ”drivers who decide not to use their car and take it car off road temporarily, for whatever reason, must ensure that they register a SORN with the DVLA.” It is also vital to note that SORNs need to be renewed each year to ensure drivers keep within regulations. Registering a SORN is free, and as we have seen from our analysis, failing to do so can prove very costly.”

Drivers can register a SORN here:

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